Louie Crowder wins 2013 Stonewall Chapbook Competition

BrickHouse Books is very delighted to announce that writer Louie Crowder’s one act play, A Better House for Ritchie, is the 2013 winner of the Stonewall Chapbook Competition. His play can be ordered starting December 10th via our distributor at http://www.itascabooks.com or from your favorite bookstore including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

A resident of New Orleans, Crowder’s work focuses on the cultural preservation and contemporary gay experience in the south. He also contributes and participates in the cultural spirit of Post-Katrina New Orlean by creating powerful and mystical body of works that speaks to the soul of the city.

Crowder has written other plays such as The First Snuff Film I Ever Saw Was In Charleston, South Carolina. The play was recently performed in New York City at the Wild Project’s Fresh Fruit Festival 2013.

Get a first look of the cover of A Better House for Ritchie below along with the order form through Itasca to buy the play!

ritchie cover

orderform_crowderDirections for Order Form:

Click on the Order Form image to print out, fill out, and mail out!

If you’re having any problems viewing the images or buying the play, comment below for assistance.


Bringing texting into the poetry world

Poet Ana Bozicevic has recently started a new poetry experiment. A new book, epitaph, is currently in progress and you can follow it the progress of it!
By texting the word epitaph to 555888 you will receive occasional poems from the book. And eventually you will be asked to contribute and be a part of the poetry experiment.
Make sure you text the number to get your daily dose of poetry and be a part of a new exciting poetry experiment!

The spoken and unspoken moments of Carroll’s GLTTL STOP

GLTTL STPGLTTL STP by Doritt Carroll

BrickHouse Books 2013 $12.00

A review by Sonja James

Beginning with the title, GLTTL STP, Doritt Carroll’s new book of poems encourages us to consider the importance of what is present and what is absent in our understanding of the world. Though Carroll has removed the vowels from the title, she kindly defines herself and her project by clarifying the title in the epigraph at the beginning of the book. “GLTTL STP” is “glottal stop,” which is “a sound produced in speech or singing by a momentary complete closure of the glottis.” This is also described as “a tightening or choking off of sound.”

Carroll simplifies this definition in the title poem, “glttl stp.” She clarifies herself in the opening lines: “everything good/is in the things/that we don’t say.” She then gives examples of “glottal stop” with images from everyday life: the space between sculptures in a museum, the moment before a struck match bursts into flame, and the tension in the air before a recess bell rings. She concludes with the image of two birds pausing in their song “because it was/the right place/in both of their songs/to pause/the/glottal stop.”

After establishing these parameters of the spoken and the unspoken, Carroll then decides on the concrete content of exactly what she is willing to reveal about herself in subsequent poems. In the poem, “2010,” she writes of the death of her father while distancing herself from it. She writes of herself in the third person: “the year her father died/Christmas wasn’t awful/just divided.” In “report,” Carroll reverts to the first person and gives a cheerful account of an ordinary day of life.

The upbeat mood does not last. She then writes four poems that are reflections on various aspects of death: “final commendation,” “death poem #5,” “in re: the scheduled rapture,” and “erasure.” The opening lines of “erasure” sum up the finality of death: “everybody dies the same/boning up like skeletons/stinking like toilets.”

In “first apt.,” Carroll turns to a different subject when she describes an incident of marital discord between a newly married couple. In “to each,” she elaborates on the theme of relationships:

we come into this place

trailing clouds of others

daughters and husbands

mothers we hated

lovers we rejected

and forgot about


forgot again

The closing poem of the volume, “edits,” compares life to the act of poetic creation. Carroll addresses herself as “you:” “you’ve already written the poem/but now you have to fix it.” The poem she speaks of stands for the act of living one’s life. Everything in the poem is “in the wrong order” and the poem and she have “never really gotten along.” The poem can’t be erased because it has been written “in ink.” At this point she tells herself “there’s no more blank paper/so the only thing you/can really do with it is/revise/revise/revise.”

And so the volume concludes with this note of hope. Life in its permanence and vast array of mistakes can be revised. Carroll has spoken, revealing herself as one who is overtly silent and yet profoundly vocal. This is “glottal stop.” The vowels have been restored in this book celebrating and defining what one poet is willing to say and not say. The poems in GLTTL STP transport us to the edge of speech and then save us from any temptation to leap in despair. This is an exciting book and one worth reading.

Sonja James is the author of Baiting the Hook (the Bunny & the Crocodile Press, 1999), Children of the Moon (Argonne House Press, 2004), and Calling Old Ghosts to Supper (Finishing Line Press, 2013).

Poets are invited to submit recent books for review consideration. Contact Sonja James at sonjajames@earthlink.net

Little Patuxent Review recaps literature event

Missed the Baltimore Book Festival? Kicking yourself for missing out on the opportunity to celebrate literature? Fear not because now you can read this great review that recaps the event along with pictures to make you feel like you were almost there.

What I Gain From Reading

By: Shelby Hillers

“Books give us the panoramic spectrum of possibilities for encountering life in a new way.”J. Michael Martin

I accidentally stumbled across this quotation recently (we always seem to find the best things when we’re least expecting it). At first, I read the quote and I thought ‘Yes of course’ but then it really sank in what J. Michael Martin captured in this one sentence. Books show us so much; they show us different ways of living life and with that new perspectives. If a book can show you a different way of viewing something you’ve seen for years, then I think that book has done its job and deserves awards. Because that’s one of the amazing things books can do, isn’t it? Teach you how someone else is living their life or different lifestyles that are happening right now. And if you’re just that much more aware of someone else’s view point, then I also think that you’ve gained an amazing experience as well.

For class, I’m reading three different literary journals- Witness, The Sun, and Hotel Amerika. I greatly encourage all of them and also encourage anyone checking out their websites as well. But within these journals written from poets and writers from around the country, I started realizing ‘Wow I’m not the only one who thought this.’ It’s both self-alarming and somewhat insulting to think most of your thoughts aren’t that original but when you realize the bigger picture, its way more comforting. You’re not alone in the literary world. In fact, someone has most likely had the same thought and was able to write it down beautifully. You realize just how much you can relate to these characters. You realize how many situations you can relate to. You realize that you can relate.

Books are amazing. They’re a way of escaping reality. They’re a form of expression. They provide us, as J. Michael Martin so nicely said, “spectrum of possibilities for encountering life in a new way.” And I can’t wait to pick up my next book, whatever it may be-there’s no limits when it comes to books, and learn a new way to view this not-so-boring world anymore.

Image Source


Shelby Hillers is the Online Assistant Editor for BrickHouse Books where she helps manage Facebook, Twitter, and the blog. She is a senior at Towson University majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. Her works have been published by The TowerlightLimerence Magazine, and TU Career Center’s co-written blog The Thriving Tiger.

5 Things to Think About Before Getting Published

By: Shelby Hillers

  1. Find outside sources to help– Once you finally have your manuscript together, give it to someone else to look over before sending it out. A fresh pair of eyes can help find any tiny mistakes you looked over and give you a new perspective on your work. You want to make sure your manuscript is the best version it can be before sending it out to be published.
  2. Research the different publishing companies – This might be a given but each publishing company publishes for a specific audience. If you’re writing a sci-fi novel and send it to a publishing company that only does romance novels, you’re not going to be hearing from them anytime soon. BrickHouse Books publishes poetry, fiction, drama, or artistic nonfiction and works hard to make what is published the best it can be. Just know your audience and understand what type of works they’re interested in along with what you as a writer get out of the experience.
  3. Know that there are different formats Once you get published (Congrats!! Time to celebrate!!), start thinking of the post-production of your book. One of the bigger questions is do you want your book to be only print or just an e-book or both? This also ties in with researching the publishing companies- know what format is best for you and your targeted audience along with what the publishing company can offer you.
  4. Marketing In order to spread the word about your book, you’re going to have to do some marketing. Whether that means a small book tour, social media publicity, or literary panels, know that you’ll soon have to be a social butterfly. The endless meet-and-greets are worth it when people appreciate the hard work you put into your writing.
  5. Don’t take rejection so personally Tons of writers get rejected, it’s part of the process. Just see it as you’re one step closer to finding the best option for your publishing your work. There’s a publishing company for everyone and there’s also different options like self-publishing as well. Don’t take rejection letters as a finite no but instead a “No thanks, try somewhere else and good luck!”


These are just some of the things to think about before getting published. The list could go on forever. But what are some things you consider before getting published or during the writing process? What’s the main experience you aim to get during the publishing process?


Shelby Hillers is the Online Assistant Editor for BrickHouse Books where she helps manage Facebook, Twitter, and the blog. She is a senior at Towson University majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. Her works have been published by The TowerlightLimerence Magazine, and TU Career Center’s co-written blog The Thriving Tiger.

BrickHouse Books author releases new book!

Lou Macaluso, author of  BrickHouse Books memoir The Warming Sicilian Son, has a new novel coming out filled with mystery, romance and crime. Released the week of October 14th-19th, In Search of Sal is based on a true story of Hollywood actor Stanley DeSantis. To learn how to order his novel on Amazon and the chance to win prizes, check out the flyers below!


Order Poster


Image Source